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AFL-CIO Now

As Obama Meets with Mexican President-Elect, Trumka Calls for Improved Rights for Mexico's Working Families

Photo courtesy Angélica Rivera de Peña

As President Obama meets today with Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is calling for improved rights for Mexico's working families. In recent months, Mexican workers have faced a series of challenges to their basic rights.

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Working Families Travel to Washington to Fight Against Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Photo of a lame duck event in Vienna, VA.

We have five weeks to tell Congress to let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire and reject any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Visit www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture for all the information you need on the upcoming budget showdown. 

Advocates for working families from 33 states are in Washington, D.C., Nov. 27 and 28 to ask members of Congress to let the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% expire and to reject cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Local AFL-CIO leaders will be joined by hundreds of advocates from other labor and progressive organizations.

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Walmart-Brand Clothes Found at Site of the Bangladesh Garment Factory Fire

Image courtesy of the International Labor Rights Forum via The Nation.

A deadly fire in a Bangladesh garment factory that killed at least 112 workers has been linked to Walmart. Photos from the scene of the fire show Faded Glory-brand clothing, an exclusive Walmart label it sells in stores. Walmart said in a statement the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for them at the time of the fire, but that a supplier subcontracted work to it "in direct violation of our policies." The biggest retailer in the United States said they have terminated their relationship with the supplier. 

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State-by-State: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Find your state at www.aflcio.org/statefactsheets

We have five weeks to tell Congress to let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire and reject any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Visit www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture for all the information you need on the upcoming budget showdown. 

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid aren't just numbers on a budget line, they're vital family protection lifelines for working people. 

Did you know 55.4 million Americans across the United States receive monthly Social Security checks, including 8.6 million workers with disabilities and 4.4 million children? A total of 48.7 million Americans get their health care coverage from Medicare and 64.4 million Americans get their health care coverage from Medicaid, including 29.8 million children and 4.2 million seniors.

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Day Laborers Clean Up New York City After Hurricane Sandy

Aspiring citizens in New York City are not going anywhere after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the region. They are pitching in to help rebuild what was lost. Latino workers and day laborers organized themselves with assistance from El Centro del Inmigrante, which advocates for the economic advancement and well-being of immigrant workers and their families, to form the the Staten Island Day Laborer Hurricane Relief Brigade and other cleanup volunteer groups. Day laborers have volunteered to clean up New York City neighborhoods, including restaurants affected in Coney Island.

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Unions Mark 'No to Violence Against Women' Day

Unions Mark No to Violence Against Women Day

This is an excerpt from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's "Unions Mark No to Violence Against Women Day."

At a Turkish-owned textile plant in the Democratic Republic of Georgia a few years ago, female employers were repeatedly forced to remain on the job without pay for hours a day. When they ultimately demanded to be released, the factory manager responded by yelling and throwing a heavy load of unfinished dresses at one woman. The blow knocked her unconscious. The factory manager returned to Turkey to avoid prosecution—but likely would not have faced charges even if he had stayed, says Bob Fielding, Solidarity Center country program director in Georgia, who described the incident.

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Walmart Strikes and Protests Hit 100 U.S. Cities

Photo courtesy of OUR Walmart's Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ourwalmart/

Across the United States in 100 cities, Walmart employees, union members and supporters came together to speak out against the largest employer in the world on Black Friday. More than 1,000 protests were held by Walmart workers and community activists who spoke out about poor working conditions, low wages, irregular hours and more. This year, many large retail chains began Black Friday sales on Thursday evening, forcing workers to miss out on the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and families.

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Pro-Worker Musical 'NEWSIES' Seizes the Day with an AEA Outstanding Broadway Chorus Award

It's only fitting the musical version of the story of the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City would garner the Actors' Equity (AEA) Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) Sixth Annual ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. The Broadway musical lifts up the true events of newsboys (a.k.a. "newsies") who organized together in a successful two-week strike against newspaper giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst for better wages. 

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Bernstein: Inequality and Budget Deficits—Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?

Source: Piketty and Saez, 2012, link in the blog.

"Inequality and Budget Deficits: Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?" is a cross-post from Jared Bernstein's On the Economy blog. 

I just read two sweeping reports on the state of income inequality in the U.S. (the second link focuses on state-level inequality) and other advanced economies.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so ensconced in fiscal cliff discussions, but I was struck by how much more alarmed policymakers are by the budget deficit than by the inequality situation. There are reasons for that tilt—some good, some bad—but based on magnitudes of the problem, it’s far from clear that our current sole policy focus is warranted.

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